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Saturday, December 28, 2013

5 Tips for Changing Negative Mindsets


So many people spent their lives focusing on the negative things in their past and what they had lost or never had during their lifetime. Meanwhile, he or she loses time in the moment and not experiencing what is going on in their lives now. In doing so, the negative thinking colors your mindset negative and can cause your mindset to become cynical and rigid.  

A mindset is a habitual and characteristic attitude that your mind is set on. A mindset can be fixed, flexible or stagnant. 

Are you one of those people? You do not have to be.

Want a new direction? Start now by shifting your old mindset into a new one in the present. How?

5 Tips to Change your Mindset


Here are 5 tips that will help you to shift your mindset by divorcing yourself from the past situation, therefore, causing to view and feel everything negative. A negative mindset colors your attitude dark and keeps you ruminating about past situations.

Get started now in changing your mindset by following the 5 tips below:

1. Think and identify what sentence or statement that has been influencing your mindset. Once you have discovered the sentence or statement, figure out the past situation in which you formed that sentence or statement from.


2. Determine if that sentence or statement has been a barrier to you achieving what you want (happiness or success) due how it has influenced your mindset and if you need to erase that sentence or statement from your mind. 

How? Do it by closing your eyes and imagine in your mind that there is a blackboard in front of you. You know like the ones we had in school. The board can be green or black. Most people will mentally see black.

3. Imagine that you are holding bright white chalk in your writing hand. On the blackboard, write the sentence or statement on the blackboard. 

For example…”I cannot be what I want (happier, loved or successful) because of what happened to me in that situation and how it made me think negatively or bad about myself". 

4. Erase the sentence or statement out of your mind by grabbing the front of the “I” in the sentence or statement and push the whole sentence or statement of the blackboard to the right as far as you can until the sentence or statement is entirely out of your inner visual sight and off your mental blackboard. By doing this, you're erasing the sentence or statement off of your mental board completely.

5.  Once you're done erasing mentally, go back to the middle of the blackboard. Create and write a new affirmative sentence or statement on the board in the bright white chalk about you that you want. 

For example…“I can be what I want and live in my moment while rejecting any thought, feeling or situation that would pull me down or back into past negative memories".

6. Once you have completed that, place your full focus on the new sentence or statement and repeat it out loud to yourself with healthy, passionate feeling. Now read it again 3 more times in a row again with strong feeling.

Takeaway


Follow through on all 5 tips and see how easy it is to shift your mindset quickly. Regain your power. Believe you can create a new positive mental and emotional landscape in your mind therefore it will happen. Read your new statement out loud to yourself 4 times every day for 30 days and after 30 days it will be embedded in your mind.                                                      
           Coach Bill

Visit my website and click here to down free eBook.

Find out about new skills that can help you make a positive change to yourself or your life like the 30 Day Challenge at http://www.makingapositivechange.com/ 

Friday, December 27, 2013

PTSD & Holidays: 4 Tips on having a Positive Holidays

“Survival should be celebrated for your strength and resilience, not ignored or grieved.” 
~ Coach Bill

The days between Thanksgiving to New Year‘s day can the hardest for survivors of trauma to get through. Known as a time to be with family and love ones, often this period can be extremely triggering and threatening for many of those who have survived early abuse and trauma because it can cause remembrance of loss of childhood. The holiday season may significantly worsen emotional reactiveness and worsen PTSD symptoms.  During this season of what should be happy holidays, survivors often think that celebrating just does not seem right and don’t deserve to be joyful. But if you really think about it, in this season of gratitude and blessings, not to celebrate would be a dishonor the accomplishment of survival.

To be a healthier survivor, one needs a holiday mind shift. Consider this holiday season as a time of celebration of strength, resilience and personal power. Start a new chapter that includes good cheer, fun and laughter, rather than focusing on what happened in past seasons. Bestow honor upon yourself by establishing new memorable and worthwhile experiences in this season because everything that happens now is in your hands. Don’t reflect on the past pain, loss or even project into the future rather be joyous in the moment. Bask in a new light and renew the essence of who you are becoming.

Demonstrate your strength, resilience and personal power by decorating the inside and outside of the house so bright with lights and let the illumination shine into the heavens and say, “See! I am strong.”

There is no "right" way or wrong way to cope with what you have lost but rather start a new direction during this holiday season. There are some things you can do to adjust to this time.   

Here are 4 tips on how to have a positive holidays

  1. Be Open to Communicate:
Don’t hide from communicating about the person. He or she is still alive in the heart. Give yourself permission to communicate feelings and celebrate his or her life. That will give others the feeling of permission that they can share, as well.

  1. Start a new tradition:  
Start a new tradition of remembrances by writing down some of his or her quotes, wisdom, good qualities, stories, significant life experiences and place them in a box or stocking. This is wonderful way to celebrate the person.  It is also a way to "generate conversation in a comfortable way." 

  1. Reduce Expectations:
Don't put on undue pressure by stress by expecting too much results for the holidays. Also don’t respond to your inner critic which can be overly critical of all efforts. Over expecting to please or make everyone happy can put extreme stress and can by be a trigger that might cause flashbacks.

  1. Take Care of Yourself:
Lastly, do some self-care. Be sure to nurture yourself. This time of year can really deplete your energy and make ability to ward off PTSD symptoms. Be sure to exercise, sleep well, eat healthy, limit your alcohol intake and get plenty of sleep.

Take Away

Strongly consider this … PTSD symptoms can be triggered by over expecting to the point of disappointment. 

Rather you should experience your holidays in the moment, and you should creatively make new and positive memories to remember. 

Don't mourning or grief the time you lost in the past. Live your holidays with a positive mindset and focus on the moment each day at a time. Don't allow over expecting to ruin your holidays.

        Happy Holidays

         Coach Bill

CLICK HERE for FREE eBook on Positive Change

And don't forget to keep up on all my blogs and self-improvement tips. http://positivechangewithdrbill.blogspot.com/ for Life 

Find out about making a positive change to yourself or your life at http://www.makingapositivechange.com/



Friday, August 2, 2013

Tip for Healing PTSD Through Mindfulness



One of the biggest days of my life was the birth of my grandson. To be blessed with a new gift like that filled my heart and soul. Everything I have learned on being mindful since his birth has brought me more enlightenment and wisdom by watching him grow.

What is Mindful?

Being mindful is merely being attentive, aware, and focused on the moment. Mindful is a gentle effort to be continuously present in the moment with experience. Mindfulness also involves being compassionate which is understanding, with yourself and know that you survived and are very strong to get where you are today. 
Mindful means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and fully non-judgmentally as well as not looking back into your past or fearing the future.
All you have is the moment. The moment is all you can change. Can't change the past or predict the future.

Mindful and Intuitive Recovery

Mindful and intuitive recovery is being consciously aware of your mind, body, beliefs, emotions, spirit, and thoughts as well as your intuitiveness and how you respond to PTSD symptoms without any judgment. Question is "how do I make what happen to me and things I have to learn productive for me in my life?" In recovery being mindful involves always paying attention to your mindset, intentions to recover and your “on purpose”. Mindful recovery means having a conscious direction of your awareness. Sometimes talk about being “mindful” or “aware” as if these words are interchangeable terms, but they are not. Think of it this way, you may be aware that you are angry or afraid, but that wouldn’t mean you are being mindful of your anger or why you are fearful. In order to be mindful you have to be purposefully attentive, aware and focused fully on yourself and ready, able and willing to change, not just vaguely or habitually aware. 


Mindful and intuitive recovery from and healing from trauma or addictions is an action not a state of mind.

Gift

Well today I have another gift that I want to pass on to you the reader. To shift out of the grips of traumatic mindset you have to gain wisdom. Wisdom becomes fruitful when you learn new knowledge and then put that knowledge into action. Action begets success and freedom.

Get more Knowledge

I want to present you with a new feature on this blog site. If you glance to the right of this blog, you will see an audio player titled Radio Shows with Dr. Bill. please click on it and listen to radio shows that will enlighten you on what is possible with PTSD, DID, flashbacks and much more.

I have selected the most useful and important shows for the issues covered in this blog from trauma recovery, PTSD, DID and more to help you gain enlightenment and wisdom. With all this wisdom you can start a new journey toward shifting your mindset to one of: “healing from abuse and trauma is possible”.

After Thoughts

Start your journey today and please enjoy all the radio shows that I believe will raise your enlightenment and wisdom to help you shift your mindset to on of wellness and recovery. 


                                                          
Coach Bill

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1 Tip on Emotional Control vs Command


Control is a big issue with many. We are all told at one point or another "just get control of yourself, your emotions, or the situation." Well, it is not as easy as some people make that sound. In fact, it is impossible to control anything. Think about it, if you have control and control is possible then stop your breathing until you finish reading this blog. Well, you can't. It is not possible. The possibility of control is an illusion.

So controlling your body, your emotions, life situations or another person is an illusion. It is an impossible expectation that leads to complete and sometimes devastating disappointment. Control is actually being unbalanced in yourself and your life because it is not attainable.

3 Levels of Control

Follow this line of thinking. If you live in the expectation of control is possible this is what happens. 

A situation arises, and you say to yourself "I must control this" (body function, emotion or event) you enter into level one of control. You will bear down and focus control. After a while, you understand that you can't control what you want to control, you might think you are not doing good enough. That will cause you to move into level two which is over control. So you work harder with an increased effort of focus. Time passes by, and you discover that you still do not have control and not only do you feel you are not good enough, you then slip into I did something wrong or extreme disappointment. 
At that point, you are driven to the third level of control which is out of control. In this third level, you might say or do something inappropriate.  

1 Tip toward Change

The fantastic one tip to help you to change is to change your mindset. Attain an attitude that controlling anything is not possible. No one can control, but command is possible in every situation. 

To get to the point of command, you have to change your expectation from seeking control to earning command. 

Is it possible to command yourself? Yes, it is possible.  To command a situation and it is possible to command another person. Command is achieved by earning respect by leading with self-confidence. Commanding is the act of gaining respect from yourself, a situation and from other people. Working hard and earning respect is how you get command over your life. Start shifting to this new mindset today which will give you a new perspective on life. 


To learn more go to another of my blogs on the subject I titled Control and Command: Shift to a New Mindset
  - http://positivechangewithdrbill.blogspot.com/2013/07/control-and-command-shift-to-new-mindset.html

If you have not seen it, then please read it, make a comment and most importantly please subscribe to it. I am sure you will benefit from being on both.  

         Coach Bill

Make a comment and share your ideas about this blog article.

Don’t forget to keep up on all my blogs and self-improvement tips. http://positivechangewithdrbill.blogspot.com/ for Life Coaching and http://www.williamtollefsonvalues.blogspot.com/ for Post Trauma Issues.

Find out about new skills that can help you make a positive change to yourself or your life like the 30 Day Challenge at http://www.makingapositivechange.com/

Friday, July 19, 2013

Addiction Recovery Southwest Florida: Addiction Community Needs to Think Out of the Box


As a result of Cory Monteith death of drug overdose just last week, I feel that the addiction treatment community need to begin to think out of the box to save lives. The old traditional methods are great and have saved so many lives. But there are still over a 100 people dying from drug overdoses everyday in the US only.

What does a recovering addict do after leaving the safety of a treatment center when they are alone?

They THINK!!!!!

The worst time for an addict in recovery from my experiences of coaching individual’s seeking to remain sober after initial treatment is when they are with themselves. It is the times when they are alone with their own thoughts. I am convinced had anyone had clear view of Cory's core beliefs (def: formed messages that he had about himself due to his life experiences) there would have been a clue of what was about to happen.

What Kind of Thoughts?

Unfortunately a recovering addict generally in time returns to old negative thinking that got him or her to use in the first place. “I don’t fit in if I don’t use”, “No one likes me if I am not high, including me”, “I am no good without using”, “I don’t deserve to be sober because what I have done”, “I need it or I will be nothing all over again”, “I was so much better when I was using”. When these thoughts get stuck in a person's head and he or she can't stop focusing on them is turns into an addiction to those thoughts known as a Thought Addiction. Every addiction starts with a thought and after becoming sober, if not shift, the original thought is still there.

This type of negative thinking, looping or distorted self beliefs can throw a successful recovery into a relapse and lead to a mindless overdose. His or her now clean body is more sensitive, reduced threshold and is not use to the level the person had been taking. But his or her mind says “Go ahead”. The body’s organs then get overwhelmed and shut down for good.

A New Box is Available.

As addiction professional, we need to start thinking about of the box. Addiction recovery needs to be more than just in house programs and then leaving the post care to only to NA and once in a while sponsors. There needs to be recognition and support of the growing network of addiction recovery coaches and sober coaches. These coaches can teach new skills, development of new healthy patterns and daily support.

Let us all get join together as a cohesive professional addiction community rather than separated and isolated. Dedicate this new total addiction community toward saving lives and helping people become healthier individuals together.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cory Monteith: Miss Something?



The world has lost another young talented, creative and admired entertainer to drugs. Cory joins the ranks of other celebrity entertainers who accidentally lost their lives to drugs use such as singer Janis Joplin, guitar player Jimmy Hendrix, Blues Brother John Belushi, Rocker Jim Morrison, Actress Judy Garland and of course the King Elvis Presley.  All of their lives were cut short by overdoses to drugs. Not only celebrities but over 100 people die of drug overdose in America every day.

What was missed?
Even though entertainers look self assured, confident and strong on stage, in private there is a very different story being played out in their head. Thoughts of insecurity, fear, self loathing, self escape and judgment of weakness and inadequacy fill their minds and consume their thoughts … even though praise is coming toward them constantly. Like thoughts of:
Did I perform well enough?
I don’t deserve this much praise.
I don’t deserve this much money.
I am not that talented.
Will they stop loving me?
If my fans only knew the real me, they would leave me.

Entertainers in the constant spotlight turn to drugs to gain a false sense of confidence, numb emotional pain, eliminate fear, and reduce thoughts of rejection. The drug is used to turn off the critical thoughts and associated emotions. The insecure performer actually believes:

This drug will help me perform better.
I am more confident and entertaining with this drug.
This drug helps me focus.

Looping self-limiting thoughts are invisible to an adoring crowd and unseen behind a charismatic smile. Could something have been missed that might have reduced the chance of a tragic ending to this actor’s life?

Cory, like many others, went through addiction treatment and rehab. Not once, but many times. Is it that treatment centers are not effective enough? No, they are very professional and effective. Then what? One thing that addiction treatment does not address is an addict’s thought addiction. Thought addiction is not on the addiction professional’s radar right now. Thought addiction is a hidden addiction that affects many American’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Why? Think about it … Every addiction starts with a thought! That is a fact. A person will turn to drugs because of overwhelming self limiting looping thoughts.

What is Thought Addiction (TA)?
The definition of thought addiction is the development of an intrusive habitual pattern to one thought or set of thoughts. Thought addiction is the returning to a thought that does not serve the individual and has negative and damaging results to one’s life. A thought addiction depletes every system of the human body. TA is repetitive and unhealthy thoughts that deplete emotional, mental, physical and spiritual energy, leaving the person empty and second guessing themselves endlessly. Thought addiction follows the same rules and progression of all other addictions. Individuals will expand into other addictions like substances, food, exercise, emotion or behavior in an attempt to silence a thought addiction or unhealthy thought looping pattern.

Forms of addicting thoughts are:
  • Anxious
  • Compulsive
  • Depressive
  • Fearful
  • Obsessive
  • Negative
  • Ruminating
  • Self demeaning
  • Self defeating
  • Self limiting
  • Sexual
  • Suicidal
  • Unwanted
  • Worrisome
Relapse?
Another critical time is post treatment. If the original thought that initiated the addiction is not dealt with, once the person becomes sober, the original thought surfaces again and will be a major driver and red flag of relapse. For an addict whose thought addiction is not addressed and treated effectively, relapse is inevitable.

What to do differently?
The addiction treatment and recovery community needs to pull back the curtain and look at the real culprit … the thought that started it all. These professionals need to expand their old treatment and recovery thinking and allow a new method in.  The most dangerous time is not in treatment or rehab, but it is when the newly recovering person comes out and is left alone with his or her own thoughts again. The 12 step principles say an addict in sobriety needs to change old friends, places and life style to eliminate triggers that encouraged them to use, but the silent driver has always been – the thought.

Take Thought Addiction Assessment:
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Difference Between Life Coaching and Therapy


Due to experiencing traumatic events, is your life stagnant? Has confusion overtaken your thoughts? Do you feel emotional wounds of your past? Are you experiencing flashbacks? Do you want something more out of your life? Are you ready for a change? Ready to heal? 

If your answer to all these questions is yes, maybe you should consider life coaching as an alternative to your trauma issues. Life coaching is a valid alternative path to change, healing, wellness, and success. As the result of experiencing abuse or trauma, you become more skilled at surviving and not performing in healthy life. Trauma coaching is a new path that can break the old habits of just surviving and move you to function better with new daily skills.


A recent article in USA Today was very enlightening in that the journalist stated that many people are searching to be more skillful in life. The USA Today’s article titled is "Life-Coaches – All The Rage."  written by Karen S. Peterson, a journalist at USA TODAY, wrote:

"Personal growth is hot. Diagnosis is not. That is one reason America has seen a boom in the number of people offering their services as "life coaches." These guides give clients the confidence to get unstuck — to change careers, repair relationships, or simply get their act together."

Ms. Peterson then quoted life coach Laura Berman Fortgang:

"We are not talking about being incompetent or weak. They are everyday, normal people who have their lives together. They realize the value of having somebody to help them think outside the box."

People who seek therapy or coaching are not much different. Both want to change their lives. I want to help you look at the difference between the two.

Is Traditional the Best Answer for All?

Therapy has been around for over 100 years since the days of Sigmund Freud. There are many good points about therapy treatment. I know! I was a therapist for 38 plus years. I witnessed many clients get help, but many did not. Why?

What Therapy Does?

Therapy's objective is to help a person deal with personal problems and issues that need to be analyzed and solved. The process of treatment is about reflecting on the person's past and seeking the cause or root of the problem. Treatment assumes that the person has a problem, or mental illness, and is based on a disease model.
Therapy is an answer-oriented process. What does that mean? A person who seeks treatment will tell the therapist his or her problems, and then ask, "What do I do?" In therapy, the accountability is on the therapist to give the right answer. 

Also, inherent in therapy, the critical factors are #1 having a good therapist. If you do, then your therapist will give you the correct answer or the right insight, and treatment plan therefore everything will be okay. With the right answer or advice, the person's life will go forward. In therapy, there is no accountability for the person to do what is suggested though by the therapist. Also, a therapist's primary focus is on events in the person's past to discover where the problem originated. 

A significant disadvantage of therapy is that therapy is based on the medical model. Because of treatment being a medical model, the client gets a diagnosis. This label will follow the client for the rest of his or her life. 

Another issue is if a person says they are in therapy, another person may think that "there is something wrong" with them. People, in general, assume there was something wrong with the person’s brain, mind or spirit, even if they had worked on their issues to the point of being restored to good health. The shadow of illness is always there.

Another disadvantage is that if a person has a "disease," they must take medicine. Many times, medication can create problems, physically and mentally. Psychiatric drugs are potent and can hinder the feeling of emotions which need to be felt to heal. So you see, there are many reasons why people have avoided the therapist’s couch at all costs.

What Is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is a relatively new field. A lot of people find it hard to embrace life coaching and raise their eyebrows at the possibility.  Life coaching is such a new field which is virtually unregulated at this point. Does that mean it is not useful? No. Business leaders, professional athletes, artists, and entertainers have known about coaches for a long time. These groups have used coaches for decades to help them become more productive and successful. Just like therapists, there are good coaches and bad ones. The USA Today article stated:

"Life coaches are a new option for the worried well — those whose lives are only slightly askew. No longer do they need a diagnosis from a psychotherapist who delves into the painful past." 

The objective of life coaching is to assist a person in formulating what his or her life intentions are, to uncover deep beliefs which might be barriers to his or her positive movement, and to move forward successfully. Life coaching assumes that the person lacks the skill to move out of a comfort zone and get more out of life. Life coaching is a teaching experience, just like a sports coach who trains, teaches and directs athletics or a team to win games and work toward having greater confidence and being number one among their peers.

Life coaching is a question and assignment-oriented process. What does that mean?  Life coaching is an active process. Learning, instituting suggested change and practice. A person who seeks to coach tells the coach his or her intentions or goals, and then the coach asks, "What do you want to do about it?” The coach might also ask, “What is the one thing you could do today that would radically change your life?" Coaching believes that the answer is in the heart and mind of the person wanting to coach and not on the coach. It is the method or strategy the coach uses which does the help … not the coach himself. The coach is a coach, guide, teacher, mentor, motivator or team member to assist the person in learning new skills to break down blocks that impede performance and success.  Accountability is the responsibility of the person … not the coach. In coaching, with the right question and assignment given by the coach, the answers, and appropriate action steps will be revealed. The person is consciously accomplishing, following through, and responsible for completing the agreed action plan. If the person follows through and finishes his or her action plan, then the positive movement will be achieved.

In sports, it has always been right, the more athletic practices their skills, the great his or her confidence becomes and more proficient become in that sport. This is also true in life. A coach can help a person who is having blocks in business, communication issues, health issues, job issues, financial problems, nutrition issues, physical wellness, mindset, work, relationships, romance, self-esteem, and even spirituality. 

A block is mostly due to lack of skill. Once an ability has been achieved, and the person practices the new skills, a higher confidence level is gained. Therefore, why not view life as the accumulation of different sports (areas) in which to become more proficient? As proficiency increases so do your levels of performance.

Gender Differences

The USA Today article sited Life Coach Patrick Williams from Colorado,

"Coaching is especially popular with men, who respond favorably to a term from sports. Seventy percent of the caseloads in therapy are women; 60% in coaching are men." Williams went on to say "life coaching will change the face of psychotherapy, helping people live a better life without the stigma of needing a diagnosis (disease model) or a visit to a psychotherapist they don't want or need."




After Thoughts

If you feel stuck or blocked in your life, consider what you really need before you choose a path. Both life coaching and psychotherapy have a place. Knowing the difference can benefit you greatly.

Life coaching is more for a person seeking positive changes, reducing anxiety or stress, increase confidence or esteem, find solutions to problems, wish to enhance their self and life skills. Sometimes, these folks are called “the worried well.” A life coach teaches you how to be what you honestly wish and want to be through action, custom assignments, mindfulness, education, being proactive, skill acquisition and practice. Then a coach supports you in being accountable and managing your growth.

Life Coaching is about the coach asking the right question. Life coaching's central belief is the client holds their own answer to how to change. If life coaching's philosophy believes if the coach asks the right questions, then the correct answer will be revealed by the client.

If a person has a more severe or long-term mental illness-related issue, then therapy should be the choice. A therapist helps you in the discovery and understanding why you are the way you are today due to what you have experienced or acquired growing up. 

Therapy is an answering process. What does that mean? The client tells the therapist his or her problems, and the therapist tells the client the answers. Generally, medication is one of the solutions.

Now of course, if your issues are out of the life coach's scope of practice, then it is necessary for a coach to refer the person to a licensed psychotherapist, social worker, marriage, and family counselor, or psychiatrist for assessment, and treatment.

Do you identify with any one or all of these statements?

1.  Am I unable to complete and be accountable for my                           assignments and action plan that I committed to doing? 


2.  I am unable to move forward? I keep going back to my old 
    behavioral patterns. I can't seem to or unable help myself? I            become angry and won't let go of my resentments, old emotional 
    hurts or past pains? 

3. I just feel very disconnected from myself. I just feel like I 

    can't control my behaviors, thoughts or feelings. 
    I feel I am out of control.

If any of these statements resonate with you, you may find your issues are more emotional, and less personal development. You would probably benefit more from working with a therapist, than a life coach.

Coaches are Part of a Team and Shouldn't be an Island

Having decades of experience in both areas, as a therapist and a life coach, I would like to offer a note of caution to the less experienced coaches out there. The power of coaching comes from their program, not the coach as a person. Know your limits as a coach. Don't attempt to see a client through just a coaching lens. See them as a person who is searching for their own answer.

A life coach needs to have a referral list of trusted professionals who you can consult and get a referral. Watch for warning signs which point to the need for qualified licensed professionals. Where there is a family in dangerous circumstances due to alcohol/drug use, violence/abuse/aggression, or emotional turmoil, a qualified and certified family therapist should always be consulted. Where an individual is showing a sign of depression, who seems to have strong negative opinions of himself and the depression doesn't seem to be waning, or some other signs of mental instability (radical mood swings, etc.), then a qualified mental health practitioner should be engaged as soon as possible. Just as important as knowing your professional talents and abilities, is also essential to identify the areas where you do not have the expertise. Be quick to consult with or refer your client to the right professional if dangerous situations are threatening. 

Here is the link if you want to read the original article. 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2002-08-04-lifecoach_x.htm

About the Author

The author, Coach Bill Tollefson is a Master Certified Life, Mind and Holistic Addiction Recovery Coach in Southwest Florida. Coach Bill brought all his education (Ph.D., MA, BA), expertise, training and practice experience of 40 years as a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, reality therapist and licensed addiction counselor as well as 10 years as a certified life and mind coach to his life coaching practice. 

For more information on my website and click here to download a free  
         Coach Bill 

Relaxation For a Wounded Soul


Survivors of abuse and trauma of all types, minor or complex, share a common bond and that is a wounded Soul. Seek relaxation through meditation and by doing so, will allow your Soul a moment of freedom, inspiration, and healing. 

After all these years of comforting and nurturing my own wounded Soul and helping others to heal theirs, I truly know that it is possible to heal the wounds. Once the wounds are the Soul soars and are stronger than before.

Afterthoughts

You deserve to take the time to relax with you. Enjoy the few moments during this video with you and embrace your essence. Be free again!!

Please make a comment at the bottom, share your ideas or contact me with questions. For help to heal your wounded Soul at MakingAPositiveChange.com

Don’t forget to keep up on all my blogs and self-improvement tips. 

http://positivechangewithdrbill.blogspot.com/
for Life Coaching 
and 
williamtollefsonvalues.blogspot.com 
for Trauma Issues.

Find out about new skills that can help you make a positive change to yourself or your life by taking the Free Mini Challenge to see if the 30 Day Mind Changing Challenge will work for you.


                                                     

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Change Traumatic Thinking in 30 Days



Are you conflicted in your head all the time? Does you feel that your relationship with yourself is not good? Maybe is is because of the way your believe about yourself? 
Trauma robs survivors of not only their identities but also alters their beliefs toward themselves.

“Change can’t begin until core beliefs are brought to the forefront.” 

Let me ask you some questions.
"Don't you know who you are really?”                 
"Do you want too?”

Think about it. Are you tired of the way you are and want to seriously change? Well if you are, for the past year and a half, my team and I have been working on and testing a product that will help answer those questions and more. Discover what is blocking you from knowing you.  

A Way for Change

That product is here and it is call the 30 Day Mind Changing Challenge. It is a self help tool that in 30 days you can discover what is holding you back, keeping you stuck in the past, causing you to sabotage yourself in the present or fearful of moving forward.

How? By being able to discover, tap into and then restructure your own personal philosophy. This groundbreaking tool can help you do this in the comfort of your home, at your own pace. Just think in 30 days your personal philosophy can be changed. In one month your core beliefs that govern and regulate you identity can be recognized, identified the ones blocking you and shift them to positive This 30 day Mind Changing Challenge radically changes how you act, feel, think, and react, not only to yourself but to others and the world. Once you make a positive change everything around you must and will change.

What products are available?

1.   New FREE Membership Website dedicated to Dr Bill’s new Personal Philosophy Method
       It offers videos on many self growth issues, and educational mini webinars.

     2.    Dr Bill’s 2nd book - Personal Philosophy Method downloadable for free as a member.

    3.   Free Live Journal just for being a member that only you can access. Document daily changes.

    4.   30 Day Mind Changing Challenge available separately as a purchased product. It offers a challenge  calendar containing 30 days of daily assignments that guides you through the process. Along with daily supporting videos. Testimonials from individuals who have already experienced change. 

    5.    New Making a Positive Change Facebook page dedicated to only positiveness. Visit, LIKE and begin sharing all the positive things in your life. No negativism allowed.



Well I am extremely excited. Many have expressed their desire to coach with Dr. Bill but could not afford it. 30 Day Life Changing Challenge is an affordable way to go through 4 months of Dr. Bill’s style of intense coaching in 30 days. The 30 Day Challenge will change you and your life. This product will help you recognize and understand YOU, your mind code and then guide you through restructuring your whole personal philosophy. The challenge is for individuals with traumatic histories, with addictions or just unhappy with their lives. Everyone can benefit.    Check out all the new products. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Loyalty Factor in PTSD



I have written a lot about the subject of loyalty due to my decades of helping the abused and traumatized population. My first publication was The Forbidden Betrayal: Loyalty within Sexual Trauma in Treatment Centers Magazine, February 1993. Since then I have written many articles on the subject to inform survivors of the power and influence the issue of loyalty has in relationships whether abusive or healthy.

I was asked by one of my clients that I was coaching the following questions. She asked: "Dr. Bill, I have to ask you about your concept of loyalty. Why is loyalty the hardest issue to overcome in recovery from abuse or trauma? How does loyalty to an abuser form? What powers loyalty? " She paused for a couple seconds, not waiting for my response and then kept talking, "I think shame is far more powerful than loyalty because as a survivor I can't say the word "shame" without having a significant amount of highly charged emotions bubble up in my throat. Maybe understanding my barrier to my recovery is either loyalty or shame might ."help me get further along into and be successful in my recovery."



Definition of Loyalty

The issue of loyalty is an essential concept to understand if you're seeking to heal or afraid to heal. Understanding who you are loyal to needs to be addressed. You need to move out of your past and heal from the effects (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD) of childhood abusive and traumatic experiences in order to mindfully embrace recovery.

Development of Loyalty

Loyalty is an accrued belief forced upon the victim. He or she is made to accept that the secret must be kept to ensure the "secret will be kept at all costs." 

In American society, in fact, in many other societies, loyalty is highly valued core belief, socially and religiously. 

So perpetrators etched loyalty to into a victim's mind through repetitive verbalizing to the protection of themselves from possible discovery. The victim is taught loyalty so that the victim will never betray the abuser or disclose to anyone what happened or who did it. The victim is forced over and over again to promise his or her loyalty out loud to "not betray the secret and declare out loud to keep the secret." 

Emotions like love, fear, and terror are all mixed with the declaration decided by the abuser. It is there to provoke an emotional response from the victim. Intense emotions along with repeated verbalizing so the promise belief would bypass the victim's mental filters and embedded the concept of loyalty deep within the victim's subconscious. 

Loyalty is also stored on another level, through the formation of an attachment or bond to the abuser. This is done on purpose by the abuser. Suggested statements like "I will always be around watching you," "If you ever tell I will return and hurt you (or family)," "We are always together," "No one will believe you over me." Once the emotional bond is formed between the victim and the abuser, loyalty becomes the most powerful, and most influential belief the victim carries for the rest of his or her life. Once embedded the victim would hurt herself, ruin his or her own life, or die than betray their abuser.

The belief of loyalty or loyalty bond, which is found in, taught and highly valued in healthy families and advanced societies. The concept of being loyal can be transformed into the most destructive belief by an abuser and end up being a massive barrier to healing in a post abuse treatment effort. Embedded loyalty can destroy any chance of recovery. 

The loyalty belief or bond to his or her abuser makes it so that the now survivor cannot betray his or her perpetrator even at the threat of death or loss of possible healing. 

Another view is that the abuser puts fault upon the victim. At that point, the victim is made accountable for causing the abuse or trauma situation by the abuser. So the abuser confuses the victim by stating " I will keep your secret (loyalty to the victim) for causing it and you keep our secret." That locks the victim into being loyal to the abuser, or his or her secret would get out.

Case Study

Throughout my 38 years of work in the helping profession as the owner-founder and executive clinical director of a specialized inpatient psychiatric PTSD and Dissociative program, I witnessed significant progress in the clients from admission to discharge. Clients were able to stabilize in 14 to 20 days from childhood sexual abuse and all types of trauma (physical, emotional, verbal, mental, spiritual, confinement, death of a loved one, divorce, rape, robbery, neglect, abandonment, natural and/or man-made catastrophes) as a result of participating in the trauma treatment program.

I remember a client who was admitted into the program in total despair with symptoms of complex PTSD, major depression. She was experiencing severe flashbacks, panic attacks eating disorder, drug abuse, self-harm, acts of self-sabotage and thought addiction. She had been in many inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for 16 years and was still having episodic relapse bouts causing multiple hospitalizations a year. Yet with successful completion and participation in the program, she left stabilized in just 14 days filled with hope. 

After discharge, she returned to her family, home and her job. She worked on her recovery process with extreme drive, willingness, and commitment. Even though her accomplishments were significant, all of a sudden with no warning signs at all, she stopped practicing her recovery and began to engage in self-defeating and self-sabotaging behaviors once again as well as in her thought addiction. She returned to my program just six months later in much chaos, crisis, pain and presenting the same symptoms as before. Her primary need on this hospitalization was to recant to the program staff all of what she had truthfully verbalized about her abuse, abusers and strongly reaffirm her loyalty to her abusers stating her abusers were good and had not hurt her. She worked hard and by the end of her second time in the program admitting while at home her loyalty belief had been triggered and she realized that she was more loyalty issues strongly connected to her abuser and not at all with being herself. 

Loyalty belief/bond is a powerful recovery issue which can cause a survivor to either align again with his or her abuser and relapse from a recovery path or set a stronger course of healing and align loyalty back to self. 

Thoughts

Back to the original question asked at the beginning of the blog about a bond of loyalty vs. shame. On the statement mentioned by the client was "I think shame is more powerful than loyalty." I wrote to her "you are partly right." 

My explanation started with the question - what is shame? Shame I believe is not a feeling. Shame is a concept that is taught or told by a person that the person broke a belief, law, rule (man's or God's), principle, standard or relationship. Loyalty is the most robust emotional attachment that two or more people can have in common as well as an ethic, moral or religious tenet. So whether a child is taught within a healthy environment or forced to learn through pain, terror or coercion that being and keeping loyalty to family, country, group or authority is what makes them a "good person." Loyalty is the highest form of allegiance, devotion, faithfulness or love, which a person can give to another. Breaking that standard or rule would bring on strong inner guilt and the need to fix what they broke. 

As I have learned more and expanded on my theories of loyalty, I discovered that the origin of "loyalty" is that it is an embedded mind code. The mind code influences the formation of an extremely high valued core belief. 

Perpetrators use shame as a tool in an effort to "control" another person..keep them in line..a way to remind a person of indiscretion or betrayal is bad..a method to make a person "tow an emotional line".. or not betray an attachment to the person, or family (group, religion or "occult"). 

This "reminding process" or "shaming process" is used in the treatment of addictions. The phrase "don't you feel bad you relapsed" is used after a person in recovery has broken his or her promise to be clean and sober one day at a time. Shame is put upon the victim to make a person break of a belief or a promise. By definition, shame is an accusation made toward a person to make him or her believe they had broken a belief, rule, standard, loyalty, ethics, moral, law, tenet or promise that they had been taught or told to follow. It comes across as "Don't you feel ashamed that you broke your promise?” “Don't you feel ashamed that you didn't follow this rule?” “Don’t you feel ashamed that you betrayed and told this secret?" So based on what I have learned shame is a subcode of loyalty.

Take Away

So for anyone, loyalty and shame are by far more powerful influence on how you behave, think, feel and react to life situations. In the recovery journey from abuse or trauma, your loyalty issues should always be investigated and dealt with completely. To heal the wounds of one's soul from abuse, loyalty should be removed from the perpetrator and always be re-affixed upon yourself first.

          Coach Bill
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Please leave a comment and express your opinion on this subject below. I look forward to reading all comments and learning more.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Traumatic Flashbacks and Tips to Fix



No one is immune to the post effects of manmade events or natural catastrophic situations. Such as abuse, trauma, or combat experiences as well as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires. 

Abuse and trauma are happening every minute somewhere in the world. These types of painful experiences touch the soul of everyone directly or indirectly. 

Survivors of such experience report the worse part of post-traumatic events is when the recollection of the events surfaces into the conscious mind. This is called "re-experiencing." Re-experiencing occurs when the memory replays the whole recording (a full memory) or when a portion of the entire recording flashes across your mind known as a flashback. Re-experiencing happens when all or a part of the traumatic memory gets triggered by a situational cue in the moment and causes a surfacing in your conscious mind without warning. 






The problem with re-experiencing is that the mind makes the memory seem like the horrifying situation is happening all over again, all painful emotions seem real, and the intensity is overwhelming as well as confusion sets in. You think you are going crazy.

A major associated problem with flashbacks is the core belief that formed during the event and became connected. These core beliefs, once triggered, surface into your conscious mind and cause negative thoughts. Once your negative thoughts are set in a thought loop, they can develop into a thought addiction which makes you think and feel like you are entirely out of control. Thought addiction quickly decreases your self-esteem, your self-worth and reduces your confidence in self. What is worse is that the looping thought can take you mentally to a place that is self-limiting, self-sabotaging and self-defeating. 

Don't let traumatic memories or flashbacks of your past events take over your reality or your ability to function in the moment. 

Understanding that memory is only a memory, just a recording or a snapshot of your history. Memory is merely a copy of a situation or event which has already happened. A memory can't hurt you. 


             It happened, it is not happening!!!

You can't entirely delete a traumatic memory or flashback from your brain, but you can restructure the memory. Restructuring the traumatic memory will help your mind to process the content of the event, eliminate the emotional charge and stop the intensity. Restructuring a memory can remove it out of dissociative storage it was filed in for many years, allow the brain to process what happened, and then convert it into long-term memory bank safely. During the process of restructuring the traumatic memory will become insignificant, just a recording of the past. Also you can recover the part of self that you lost from the experience.


Once all painful memories are rendered invalidated, your brain can return to a sense of balance and calmness.


There is a techniques called Rapid Reduction Technique or RRT that can assist you in the process of invalidating painful and hurtful traumatic memories and flashbacks safely and protectively.



Learn more about Rapid Reduction Technique or RRT by watching this video:






Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Eliminate Flashbacks


A few years ago at one of my presentation, a woman in the audience, stood up and declared that she was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. She reported that around her 28th birthday, she began to experience flashbacks of those torturing years of childhood abuse. As I listened to her story, I understood that she had been in pain for many years without any relief.

When she finished, I asked her one simple question: "Why do you think those recollections of those events have returned?" She hesitated for a few seconds, searched her thoughts and ultimately was unable to give an answer.

I had discussed this topic with so many survivors over 14 years, which had experienced the same latent reaction to childhood trauma. Roughly 76 percent of survivors of childhood abuse and trauma have re-experiencing recollections. Too many believe that a re-experiencing of memories from childhood abuse and trauma is a sign of weakness or mental illness. It is neither. In fact, it is a sign of growth and strength.

Like the woman at my presentation, survivors think that they are being punished and that there is no way out of their pain. They have attempted everything from medication to years of intense therapy to no avail or relief.

The answer has to do with the way the brain treats trauma memory differently from non-traumatic memory. Simply the brain is about order and process. Everyday non-traumatic memory is stored in an orderly fashion. Traumatic memory is stored in an unconscious compartment deep in the brain to the protection of the victim. Traumatic memory is sent to a dissociated storage area. In doing so the brain is saving the victim from conscious awareness of the horror of the event being experienced. The memory can be locked in that dissociated storage area for years. 

Then due to growth and personal strength perceived in the person by the brain, the memory is unlocked and sent for processing. The returning the memory to consciousness when not solicited is termed "flashback". A flashback is when the dissociated memory quickly crosses the mental screen in the mind. This process being performed is not an attempt to present pain or hurt, but healing. The brain wants the unprocessed traumatic memory to be processed, the emotions closed and the memory can be filed in the normal way in long-term storage. Flashbacks are the brain's way of seeking order, even though does not feel that way to the recipient.

The natural response of the recipient to a flashback is to become fearful and repress (or "shut down") the recollection with whatever means possible (thought, behavior or substances). What survivors all are striving for is relief from the intrusiveness.

To gain relief requires a new mindset. According to the pilot study conducted with survivors of severe childhood abuse and trauma, there is a guided protocol which can assist the brain to achieve order with the traumatic memory. The pilot study revealed, "the purpose of the guided protocol is to give the survivor the opportunity to release the intense emotional charge, and achieve closure with the memory of the overwhelming, life-threatening event".

I told the woman "What I know for sure is that if you're looking for a way to accomplish complete amnesia from past pain and hurt, you will always be disappointed. Closure of the flashback is the best that can be achieved. In the end, you're the only person making closure with your past. There is no drug that can do it for you. So facing your painful emotions in a recollected head-on with a safe protocol can give your brain finality. There is nothing a therapist can say or do with memory that can give you what you can give to yourself. If taught the right skill, a sense of closure can be achieved safely."

If you are searching for a sense of closure from intruding recollections of abusive, traumatic life events or even combat, I encourage you to look no further than inside yourself. Understand that your brain is searching for order. Help it reach its objective by not shying away from the process. Storing of abusive or traumatic memories in an obscured location was God's gift of protection, and say "thank you" and move forward toward health. The irony of the process is that your brain brings back unfinished recollections not to hurt you but to complete what was not done at the time of the emotionally, life-threatening overwhelming life event.

Afterthoughts

You are not ready for completion until you can affirm “I will never again give up my personal authority to my past”. Only then will you be free and ready for wholeness.

        Coach Bill                                                             For more information on Rapid Reduction Technique click here